While much of the buzz of the last decade has been on the STEM fields—Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics—many universities and secondary schools have recently recognized that a more creative component to spur the innovation necessary to those same disciplines. Hence, many have argued for an Arts and Design component to fill out the acronym, STEAM, thus integrating the philosophical and humanities elements traditional to higher education. In this section of English 160–Academic Writing I: Writing in Academic and Public Contexts, students use the materials of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s composition program and its focus on genre and situation in order to explore the world of the arts, beginning with photography and increasing in writing involvement and critical scrutiny through the worlds of music and film before finally concluding in a work of literature spanning a few hundred pages, be it a novel, a play, a collection of short stories, a book of poems, or a set of essays. Through these various lenses they examine both the status of these arts, what goes into evaluating them, and their relation both to the UIC campus, its history, and the world at large.
The assignment sequence below consists of four writing projects:
- The World as Seen: Photo Essay
- The World as Heard: Blog Post
- The World as Experienced: Proposal
- The World as Written: Argumentative Essay & Cover Letter